Two-thousand-thirty-three former sugar workers have received due payments for an accumulated total of $13.7 million, according to Prime Minister Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris. The prime minister said his Team Unity-led administration feels a sense of elation that it has been able to help more than two thousand former St. Kitts Sugar Manufacturing Corporation (SSMC) workers secure benefits denied to them under the former Denzil Douglas government.
When the sugar industry closed in July 2005, the then-government promised $44 million in severance payments, but only $28 million was paid.
In March 2015, the St. Kitts and Nevis government received a $16-million grant from the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, under the PetroCaribe Agreement, to pay the former sugar workers.
While updating the nation on matters of national interest at his press conference on Aug. 30, Prime Minister Harris revealed that “The Sugar Workers Restoration Programme reported that as of Aug. 20, 2,033 persons have received due payments for an accumulated total of $13.7 million.”
This is a stark comparison to the 968 former sugar workers who benefited under the previous administration, following the closure of the sugar industry.